Discover the truth behind THC edibles and acid reflux! Do THC edibles make reflux worse? Or do they help treat it? Find out in this guide.

The Truth Behind THC Edibles and Acid Reflux

You may have heard all kinds of things about what THC edibles do to gut health. Some say that THC edibles can help alleviate symptoms of acid reflux, while others report that it causes stomach irritation – but what's the evidence for these claims? In this blog, we'll explore the science behind what THC does to the acid in your stomach and offer insights to help you make informed decisions about your cannabis consumption.

Let's unravel the relationship between THC edibles and acid reflux, separating fact from fiction. First off we’ll ask…

Does THC Cause Acid Reflux?

It's thought that THC can relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle that normally prevents stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. Issues with the LES are a primary cause of acid reflux. Therefore, it's believed that this relaxation can potentially lead to acid reflux or worsen existing symptoms in some individuals.

Furthermore, if you smoke cannabis, the irritation to your throat and lungs could cause you to cough more. This additional coughing and irritation could further damage your esophagus and worsen your acid reflux symptoms as well.

Hence, THC can make symptoms of acid reflux worse in some people. That being said, the relationship between THC and acid reflux is complex and varies from person to person. Intriguingly, there are other indications that cannabis actually provides relief from acid reflux.  

 Sunnies edible THC gummies in a glass

How THC Edibles Can Actually Help Treat Acid Reflux

Interestingly, a 2016 study found that cannabinoids may reduce the production of stomach acid. Furthermore, it's thought that THC edibles could provide relief for acid reflux by reducing inflammation, which is a significant cause of the condition. Additionally, the relaxation induced by THC may ease tension and anxiety that can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms. Hence, while some people report greater reflux symptoms from cannabis use, others also experience relief.

Ultimately, both sides of the debate are on to something. While THC can exacerbate symptoms for some sufferers of acid reflux, it may also provide relief to others. That’s why it’s important to undertake THC use carefully if you have acid reflux, and reach out to a medical professional for guidance.

Does CBD Affect Acid Reflux?

CBD, a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, may help manage acid reflux by reducing inflammation, calming the digestive tract, and lowering anxiety. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating various bodily functions, including digestion. CBD's anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties can contribute to symptom relief for some acid reflux sufferers.

How to Use THC Edibles to Treat Acid Reflux

Whenever you’re trying out edibles for the first time, it’s good to start with a low dosage to gauge your tolerance. Opt for edibles with a balanced THC and CBD ratio, as CBD can mitigate potential side effects. Consume edibles 1-2 hours before bedtime for prolonged relief. (Edibles can take up to 4 hours before kicking in fully.) Remember it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and for information about any potential interactions with medications you’re already taking.

What Strains Are Good for Acid Reflux?

Strains with a balanced THC to CBD ratio are often recommended for acid reflux. High-CBD strains can also provide symptom relief without intense psychoactive effects. Indica-dominant strains may also offer relaxation and pain relief for acid reflux sufferers.

When selecting strains for acid reflux, consider strains that are known for their anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and relaxing properties. These strains can potentially provide relief from the symptoms associated with acid reflux without exacerbating anxiety or discomfort. Sun grown cannabis, especially, may offer additional benefits due to its rich cannabinoid and terpene profiles, resulting in strains with anti-inflammatory and relaxing compounds. 

It's advisable to consult with a knowledgeable budtender or cannabis specialist who can recommend strains tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

What Is the Ideal Dosage for Treating Acid Reflux? 

The ideal dosage for treating acid reflux with THC or CBD varies from person to person. Start with a low dose (5-10 mg of THC or an equivalent CBD dose) and gradually increase until you strike the right balance between symptom relief and minimal side effects. Consult a healthcare professional or a cannabis specialist for personalized guidance on dosage and regimen.

Benefits of Using THC Edibles to Treat Acid Reflux

Using THC edibles for acid reflux can offer several advantages. They may provide long-lasting relief from symptoms, including pain and discomfort, and they can help manage anxiety-related triggers. Additionally, edibles offer a discreet and smoke-free option for consumption.

  1. Long-lasting Relief: THC edibles typically have a delayed onset, which means their effects come on gradually (up to 4 hours) but can be long-lasting. This can be particularly advantageous for individuals with acid reflux, as it provides sustained relief throughout the night or during periods when symptoms tend to be more troublesome.

  2. Symptom Management: Acid reflux can manifest in various ways, including heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation, and throat discomfort. THC's analgesic (pain-relieving) properties can help alleviate these symptoms, making it easier to cope with the condition.

  3. Anxiety Reduction: Many acid reflux sufferers experience heightened symptoms during times of stress or anxiety. THC's ability to induce relaxation and reduce anxiety can indirectly contribute to symptom relief by mitigating anxiety-related triggers.

  4. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Acid reflux often involves irritation and inflammation of the esophagus. THC's anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe this irritation, potentially reducing the frequency and severity of acid reflux episodes.

  5. Discreet Consumption: THC edibles offer a discreet and smoke-free method of consumption. This can be appealing to individuals who prefer not to smoke or vaporize cannabis and want a more inconspicuous way to manage their acid reflux symptoms.

It's important to note that while THC edibles have the potential to provide relief, individual responses can vary, and the effectiveness of this approach may depend on factors such as dosage, strain selection, and personal preferences. 

 Close up shot of a pile of Sunnies gummies

THC and Acid Reflux FAQs

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a digestive disorder characterized by the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. This can lead to a range of symptoms, including heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, and irritation of the esophageal lining. Chronic acid reflux can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life and may require management and treatment. Understanding the causes and potential remedies for acid reflux is essential for those affected by this condition.

What Causes Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is primarily caused by a weakening or relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach. When the LES doesn't function properly, stomach acid can flow back into the esophagus, leading to symptoms. Factors contributing to LES dysfunction include certain foods, obesity, smoking, pregnancy, and hiatal hernias. Lifestyle and dietary choices, such as consuming spicy or fatty foods, large meals, and lying down shortly after eating, can also trigger or worsen acid reflux. Understanding these causes can help people manage and prevent the condition.

What Are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux?

The symptoms of acid reflux can vary but commonly include heartburn (a burning sensation in the chest), regurgitation (the backflow of stomach contents into the throat), chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and a sour taste in the mouth. Some individuals may experience coughing, wheezing, or hoarseness, especially if stomach acid irritates the airways. Chronic acid reflux can lead to complications if left untreated, making it important to recognize and manage its symptoms.

What Foods Help Tighten the Lower Esophageal Sphincter?

High protein foods such as fish, lean meats, legumes, eggs, and tofu help tighten the lower esophageal sphincter, reducing acid reflux. High fiber foods that provide complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole grains, and oatmeal and non-citrus fruits such as apples, bananas, and pears are also recommended as part of an anti-acid reflux diet.

What Are the Risks Associated with THC Edibles?

It’s important to check the potency of the edibles you purchase and understand your own limits. Overconsumption of THC edibles can lead to adverse effects such as anxiety, paranoia, and impairment. Edibles typically take up to 4 hours to reach their full effect, and this delayed onset can lead to unintentional overuse. Cannabis use in general may not be suitable for people with a history of mental health issues or for those who are particularly sensitive to THC's psychoactive effects. Safe and responsible consumption is essential to mitigate these risks.

Side Effects & Interactions

Side effects of THC edibles may include dry mouth (or “cottonmouth” as it’s sometimes called), increased heart rate, impaired physical coordination, and heightened anxiety, especially in high doses. 

THC edibles can also interact with medications, potentially affecting their efficacy. You should be cautious whenever combining THC edibles with other substances and make sure to consult a healthcare professional before use if you’re already taking prescription medications.

Find the Best SunMed Edibles for Acid Reflux

Since 2018, SunMed Growers has been providing affordable, high quality, sun grown cannabis grown for people throughout the state of Maryland. If you’re looking for edibles that can help you manage acid reflux, SunMed offers a variety of products, including gummies and chocolates, that may meet your needs. Start with a low dose around 5 to 10 mg and consider strains like Snoop Dogg OG or White Runtz (by Cookies) for potential symptom relief. 

Consult with SunMed's knowledgeable budtenders to choose the right product for your needs and preferences. Find a SunMed dispensary near you to experience the difference!